April 11, 2007 11:58:58am
Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events
The Dead's lyrics were never overtly political for the most part, but sometimes subtle references slip in between...
"Uncle John's Band": "Goddamn, well I declare/have you seen the like?/Their walls are filled with cannonballs/their motto is 'don't tread on me'."
"Morning Dew" is said to be about a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and thus an anti-nuke protest song "...I guess it doesn't matter anyway."
Most of "Truckin'" is bent towards frustration at overzealous law enforcement "...busted down on Bourbon Street/Set up like a bowling pin/knocked down it gets to wearin thin/they just won't let you be..."
"Bertha" carries similar trouble with the law themes: "test me test me/why don't you arrest me?Bring me to the jailhouse til the sun goes down."
...not to mention "The Other One:" "...it left a smoking crater of my mind i'd like to blow it away/but the heat came round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day..."
"New Speedway Boogie" makes reference to the stabbing death at Altamont and to the innocence/end of the 60's hippie ideal:
"...Things went down we don't understand but I think in time we will"....."I saw things getting out of hand/I guess they always will...."
...and this is just my interpretation, I have no idea if it's accurate, but I consider "Ship of Fools" to be a political cautionary tale, most in particular the final verse:
The Bottle stands as empty
as it was filled before
Time there was, and plenty
but from that cup no more...
Though I could not caution all
I still might warn a few:
DON'T LEND YOUR HAND TO RAISE NO FLAG ATOP NO
SHIP OF FOOLS
This post was modified by grendelschoice on 2007-04-11 18:58:58